My intention to post daily certainly hasn't panned out, but I do like posting when I can. I spent the day in my spiritual direction program, and that always leaves me pondering everything that was discussed. First of all, there are about thirty of us and when we meet the first day of our monthly weekend session we check in. I often wish we could do this to begin a worship service each week. It wouldn't leave much time for preaching, but just hearing people's stories and sharing prayers for them is a wonderful way to "worship." It is connecting in the reality of God's love for all of us and sharing our concerns and joys with each other. I am always struck by how connected I feel after this check in. When people share their lives at a deep level, it's very difficult to stay disconnected. Each of us has about two minutes of "check in" to talk about whatever it is we want to talk about, but it's usually sharing from our lives. And the sharing is honest and deep; joys, new happenings in our lives, concerns, loss, relationships and all in a 'sacred' circle of sharing. There is something about sitting together in a circle, without desks or pews, that promotes this type of sharing. No matter how I feel when I arrive for the weekend, after the check in I feel connected and the depth of the weekend together is refreshing. We share, we sing, we study, we practice spiritual direction with each other - which takes us to deeper levels still. It is a wonderful program and I'm glad to be involved. Next month is our four day retreat and I'm looking forward to it. We spend one day in silence, and I love that! A day not to have to speak, answer, talk, respond or acknowledge anyone verbally - it's a treasured break. I love people, but it is in silence that I have learned my need for quiet and meditation. We spent some time in our theological reflection small groups talking about the concept of "manifesting" - or believing in what we want and the power we have to determine our lives. I have some serious problems with this concept, as did others, and it produced some lively discussion. For me it's too "abundance" oriented - that God wants us to have abundance (money, home, clothes, car, boat, etc. ad infinum) and I think the Biblical concept of abundance is not material. Hard to put down the jest of the discussion, but it was really good. There is a popular book called "The Secret" that's focused on this concept - and though I haven't read it, I do have some reservations about the idea. I believe how we focus our energy is important - but I believe it's always for the good of all creation, and not just what I think I need for my life.